UN says armed raids force 30,000 to flee homes in South Sudan

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has said that armed raids in a region of South Sudan plagued by ethnic clashes have forced around 30,000 civilians to flee their homes.

According to OCHA, armed men from Jonglei state, an eastern region beset by gun violence, attacked communities in nearby Greater Pibor Administrative Area, on 24 December.

The violence followed clashes in South Sudan's far north that uprooted thousands in Upper Nile state last month.

According to Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, "People have suffered enough. Civilians, especially those most vulnerable - women, children, the elderly and the disabled bear the brunt of this prolonged crisis."

Some 5,000 people have sought shelter in Pibor town, OCHA said, adding that the humanitarian response was severely stretched.

The clashes in Upper Nile state have also seen villagers seek shelter in swamps to escape the bloodshed, amid reports of civilians being raped, kidnapped or murdered.

They called on South Sudan's leaders to step-in, stressing "the need to investigate and hold accountable all perpetrators of the conflict, including those who are instigating and inciting violence."

Leaders fomenting violence

Western powers including the United States and European Union said this month that South Sudan's leaders bore responsibility for the deadly clashes.


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